Review: Look X-Track Carbon mountain bike pedals have more support at XC weights

Tips & Reviews

Among cross country options, the Look X-Track Race Carbon mountain bike pedals hit a sweet spot of platform size and ease of entry. Combine that with a decent range of tension adjust and respectable weight, they’ve become a worthwhile companion on both gravel and mountain bike rides.

Up against Shimano and HT Components, though, are they enough to stand out? Here’s the tech specs and info, and my thoughts on the matter…

Look X-Track Race Carbon pedals specs & actual weight

Look X-Track Race Carbon mountain bike pedal platform profile from the top looking down

Look’s X-Track pedal line comes in four variants, with the Race Carbon (tested) sitting near the top:

  • X-Track – 200g/pedal – $50/pair
  • X-Track Race – 182g/pedal – $90/pair
  • X-Track Race Carbon – 175g/pedal – $130/pair
  • X-Track Race Carbon Ti – 145g/pedal – $270/pair
  • Replacement X-Track cleats – 50g/set – $15

The main upgrades are going from a chromoly spindle and alloy body, working up to a composite then carbon body, with the top model getting both carbon and a titanium spindle. Here’s Look’s promo video for them:

Shared specs are 53mm Q-factor, 16.8mm total stack (10.7mm pedal + 6.1mm cleat), and double weather-resistant seals protecting the bearings:

the look x-track race pedals use two sealed cartridge bearings and one bushing on the chromoly spindle

Each pedal spins on a bushing (closer to the crank arm) and two cartridge bearings.

Look X-Track Race Carbon mountain bike pedal side profile

They have a 6º float angle and 13º release angle. They come with Look’s X-Track cleats, but the pedals are compatible with SPD cleats, too. Look also offers an X-Track Easy cleat, which allows for upward and angled release, helping newbies get out of the pedals quicker and easier while learning.

Look X-Track Race Carbon mountain bike pedal actual weight

Actual weights on our scale for the Race Carbon pedals (with a wee bit of dirt on them) are 175g and 177g. For comparison, a Shimano MT8100 XT pedal is a claimed 171g each, and retail for $120/pair…so, they’re comparable in weight and price. But, the Look has a bigger, flatter platform surrounding the hardware.

Look X-Track Race Carbon pedal review

Look X-Track Race Carbon XC mountain bike pedals review

First impressions are key, as is the ability to repeatedly hit the target when snapping your foot into the pedals to get going. And the Look X-Tracks did well on both.

They provide a satisfying if subtle click, and they’re among the easiest for me to get into. They require minimal forward slide, which translates into something more akin to just stepping on the pedals and going. That said, it’s not dramatically different than other SPD-like pedals, so if you’re used to one, you’ll likely enjoy these, too.

Look X-Track Race Carbon XC mountain bike pedals side view

Next up is the ability to keep my foot engaged in the pedal when getting rowdy. Whether it’s a quick change of direction, a violent upward pull to clear a low speed obstacle on an incline, or just using a little too much body english, I’ve found all kinds of ways to accidentally unclip.

Fortunately, these offer a wide adjustment range, with a very secure hold at the extreme. And the adjustment screw uses a well-sized 3mm hex interface, so it’s not easily stripped. And it’s easy to get something smaller in there to scrape out packed-in dirt.

Look X-Track Race Carbon XC mountain bike pedals front view showing cleat and shoe interface

The standout feature of the Look X-Track Race pedals is the platform size. Measuring 60mm across and with 515²mm of surface area, they’re big for the category. And 12% bigger than their S-Track pedals.

The support on the side of the retention mech is just the right height for several pairs of shoes I wore with them. Shown are the Shimano S-Phyre XC901 mountain bike shoes, and the cleats rest perfectly on the pedals. This prevented my foot from rocking side to side, which provides a more stable, powerful pedaling feel. Which, Look says, was one of the primary objectives for this model…so, mission accomplished.

We get these products at no charge to review, but if it were my money, I’d probably go with the standard “Race” version, since it’s only a couple grams heavier but much less expensive. That said, the Carbon body is showing very little wear even after 6+ months of use on mountain and gravel; I can’t vouch for the Race’s composite body’s durability. Also worth mentioning that they have not developed any bearing play whatsoever.

If you’re looking for just a bit more support with the ease of use, respectable weight, and competitive price of the best XC and light trail pedals out there, the Look X-Track Race pedals should be on your list.

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